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Devils Outlast Sabres in Overtime

Strong showing from Cozens; Tokarski unable to keep the lead

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Score: Devils 2 Sabres 1
Shots: Devils 39 Sabres 25
Buffalo Sabres Goals: Dylan Cozens
New Jersey Devils Goals: Nico Hischier, Pavel Zacha

First Period

A couple of highlights:

Cozens! First of the year. Thanks to a slick Jeff Skinner drawing a penalty on Siegenthaler, Cozens buried one from the slot to the right corner for his first of the year. With Zemgus taking on Bergeron last night and Devils being Hughes-less, Cozens is showing up against these lesser matchups. Just what we love to see from the youngin’.

Around the ten minute mark, the breakout from the Girgensons line saw a shot from Kyle on the right rebound its way over to the left to Caggiula, but unable to beat the sliding Daws. Just past the 8 minute mark, we saw Cozens setup Vinnie with a dime, but unable to bury it past Daws. With just over 5 minutes to go, a protecting Skinner on boards allows Vinnie to feed Dylan for a grade A chance in the slot. Again, stopped by Daws. And for my own personal man crush, Root-salainen (I know it’s Ruot!) enjoyed his timely mis-matches with Jeff & Dylan, breaking through solo and earning himself a scoring chance with just over a minute and half to go. Ruotsalainen has been stuck on the fourth line since Casey went down, but with Vinnie unable to make an impact (in my humble opinion), I’m hoping Arttu is ready to steal some spots. Coach Granato already looks like he’s down on Bjork, replacing him with Caggiula and keeping him on the fourth line. The player we liked in return for Hall may be on the outs with the Sabres?

A couple of lowlights

Nada! What a time to be a fan. Keepin’ me and the fanbase happy. Surely.

The first scare of the night came up as the Devils looked to take advantage of the ensuing penalty call shortly after Cozens’ goal. Hischier tried to jam his way to tie the game, but no goal and confirmed by the coach’s challenge. All in all, a standard first period from the Donnie led Sabres. Slick & quick passes leading to fast transitions and the ever moving and ever supporting linemates always there to help and disrupt. Unlike the Bruins, the Devils are unable to match up in the first twenty.

Second Period

Olofsson and Bryson follow each other up with penalties to start the second, but the penalty kill is up to par after the Bruins.

A couple of highlights:

Tokarski! Solid relief showing yet again. a good story and a surprise result for the Sabres thus far. Breakaway for the Drake! Love the Drake. Unable to send it home, but the rewards from the pressure are ever bountiful for the crew. Fed from Arttu, another solid play from him. Vinnie, on the outs for me, had a nice end to end zone entry but decided to throw his hard work away with a cross ice pass to no one rather than fight to save his life. Bah!

A couple of lowlights:

Colin Miller being Colin Miller. Garbage point shot gets deflected and leads to a breakaway. Devils somehow didn’t score and Miller didn’t get a penalty for mugging. Catchin’ a break.

Would love a bit more of a cushion heading into the third, Devils are on the perimeter mostly, but this young team is prone to mistakes and the odd bounce could tie this up. Onto the third!!!

Third Period

A couple of highlights:

Asplund receives a juicy turnover, caused by Olofsson, but is unable to bury it. Almost 19 left, let’s go. Gauthier penetrates the 4 man box, Tokarski comes up big. Still in it.

A couple of lowlights:

Dahlin to the box with about 15 to go. Uh oh. Lucky redirection and rebound catches Tokarski in the wrong spot as the puck heads in to tie it up.

Little bit of chaos but we’re going to overtime. It’s a dog fight!

Overtime

Dahlin drives, looks like a super star, misses high and left. Olofsson fighting to back check. Gassed. Bratt’s backhand goes high and wide to the right. Zacha carries it in, Jeff doesn’t expect all Devils on the left side, chaos coming. Severson back to Zacha in the left dot. Buries it. Damn. Game over.

Devils pulled away some time in the second. Needed another finish in the first, oh well. A point and onto the next one. Another good showing from the boys.

Three stars: Dahlin, Cozens and Tokarski. All first star performances.

Comment of the game: If you’re like me, it’s sad days seeing Lindy elsewhere:

If you’re like Lass or McGee, this is for you: